Egg and cheese sandwiches…mmmm…yummy! Delicious! Even addicting…They were probably the hardest thing for me to give up when I decide to adopt a total vegetarian lifestyle (I’m still a work in progress though, not quite at that goal yet). Even after giving them up, I wanted them. I craved them. I even tried to replace them using scrambled tofu on toast (which was okay, but not convincing, compared to what I actually liked). But, I’ve discovered that they can be replaced, and now that I know how to replace them, I don’t crave the actual egg and cheese anymore, but I do crave the best replacement.
There’s not very many truly vegan cheeses out there that I would call delicious. Back when I used to eat real cheese, I was fussy about the cheese that I ate. There were some kinds I liked, some that I didn’t, and some that I was afraid to try (like Limburger). I didn’t like dairy cheese that had soy in it either…at all, and so, I didn’t like soy cheese or rice cheese or vegan cheese that much at all. I had tried vegan cheese a few times in the past, and was disgusted by the taste (but I was particular about real cheese, too). I used to think that if I did decide to go vegan (which was what I thought total vegetarian was at the time), that I would live off of salads and raw foods, and wouldn’t bother with cheese substitutes. Since then, however, my taste buds have changed, and there really are some delicious vegan cheese substitutes.
The best vegan cheese, in my opinion, is daiya. I crave daiya cheese now. Their shredded cheddar is the best on eggless egg and cheese sandwiches. Their cream cheese is better than real cream cheese, and I crave it spread on a bagel. With imitation/artificial bacon bits, vegan sausage, and more, the cream cheese can also be used to make a variety of delicious breakfast sandwiches and bagelwiches.
I also like homemade cashew cheese and almond cheese, and have learned to make my own homemade cashew cheese. Cashew gravy also works as a cheese substitute on cheese toast, which makes delicious breakfast sandwiches with (yes, yes) scrambled tofu or fried tofu or vegan meat substitutes.
Daiya also has sliced cheese in cheddar, Swiss, and provolone flavors, and I’d like to try a breakfast sandwich with their pepper jack and mozzarella shreds.
Go Veggie also has a vegan sliced cheese. However, this cheese has a very light flavor and does not melt as well. It does melt, however, and with double or triple the slices, it’s satisfying. Daiya, however, is more available and tastes better than the vegan Go Veggie slices. I’d choose Go Veggie over tofutti any day though, except when it comes to their cream cheese. Tofutti cream cheese is way better than Go Veggie, which melts like margarine and has its own distinct flavor. It tastes fine though. Tofutti, however, tastes more like cream cheese (although not as much as daiya and has a lighter flavor) and does not melt as easily as Go Veggie cream cheese would. However, they all work.
And there are other vegan options, too, depending on where you live and how well or easily you can make your own.
This is my favorite combination:
- 2 slices of homemade bread, artisan bread, or a bagel
- Earth Balance
- A handful of daiya cheddar cheese shreds
- 1 or two slices (about 1/2 inch thick) of firm or extra firm tofu.
- 1 handful of sliced onion.
- sea salt
- turmeric (optional)
- olive oil (recommended: 100% extra virgin)
Sautee the onions in olive oil together with the tofu (as you’re frying the tofu). Dash tumeric and sea salt on each side of the tofu. Flip the tofu when it turns golden brown.
Spread earth balance on the bagel or bread, sprinkle the cheese on top, and toast each slice in the oven.
Put the tofu and sauteed onions inside the sandwich.
It’s delicious, and also delicious with vegan meat substitutes, such as fried vegan boloney or turkey-flavored deli meat substitute (Yves, Smart, or Tofurkey), vegan sausage (Wegmans makes delicious, juicy vegan sausage patties), or vegan bacon, imitation/artificial bacon bits, or other meat substitutes, although I find they’re not necessary.
I also like toast or a bagel with sliced daiya cheddar cheese or daiya or tofutti cream cheese and Wegmans sausage patty or imitation bacon bits.